Sunday, June 12, 2011

Superfood recipe!... plus bacon

My friend CJ and I often discuss what we're planning for dinner. The other day he shared a recipe from that I just had to try. In the name alone it mentioned 5 "super foods"... and bacon: White Bean and Spinach Quinoa Salad with Bacon, Caramelized Onions, Mushrooms, and Blue Cheese in a Bacon Pan Sauce Dressing.

What is Quinoa (keen-wah)?... I talk about it here.

The first thing the husband said when I told him what we were having was that if this becomes a regular meal, we'll have to come up with a shorter name - how about The Bacon Salad :)

I have to say, although it SOUNDED absolutely amazing, it left me a little underwhelmed (except for when I hit a piece of bacon). I'm not giving up on it yet, though. If I make it again, there are a few things that I would want to change. Below is the recipe with my comments. Note that this recipe makes enough for 4-6 people without my suggested changes - we'll be eating off of this for a few days at least!
  • 1 cup quinoa, rinsed - this made a LOT of quinoa. I wondered if maybe he meant 1 cup COOKED quinoa - in the future, I would halve this to make the spinach more of the focus. Also, make it with chicken broth instead of water for more flavor
  • 4 slices bacon, cut into 1 inch pieces - I used smoked - it turned out well
  • 1 cup red onion, sliced - I use Vidalia, it's what I had on hand... I prefer them anyway
  • 4 ounces mushrooms, sliced - I had 8 oz so I just threw all of them :)
  • 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 small clove garlic, grated
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 (6 ounce) package baby spinach
  • 1 (19 ounce) can white beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1/4 cup mild blue cheese, crumbled - We used Feta... Goat cheese may also work
(My modified) Directions
  1. Cook 1/2 cup dry quinoa as directed on the package - use chicken broth for more flavor!
  2. Meanwhile, cook the bacon in a pan. Save the grease, mmmm delicious
  3. Caramelize the onions and mushrooms in the remaining bacon grease for about 20 minutes - scoop into a separate bowl and set aside.
  4. Add the vinegar to the pan and deglaze it.
  5. Mix in the sugar, mustard, garlic and season with salt and pepper.
  6. Add the spinach and white beans and cook until the spinach wilts
  7. Mix in the bacon, onions and mushrooms, and quinoa
  8. Serve garnished with cheese of your choice

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